I recently received a review copy of Made to Play by Joel Henriques. It is a delightful craft book that brings a clean, modern aesthetic to making toys for kids. If you are a fan of Henriques' blog, Made by Joel (which is packed with wonderful printables and even more toy making projects), you will love this book.
It is written and illustrated simply with very clear instructions. Many of the projects use paper, wood, or wire, which is a refreshing change from the pervasiveness of sewing and knitting craft books.
This book would be a PERFECT Christmas gift for a dad who wants to participate in a crafty household, but might not sew. In fact, you might want to pick up a copy now, so you can start making some homemade gifts for the holidays.
My favorite projects are those using the scroll saw or jigsaw. I have two and love them. I think they are as important to toy making as a sewing machine. And kids are really moved and interested in wood toys. Maybe it is the substance of them, or their weight - but wood is magic.
From adorable trucks that tuck into a mint tin, to little wooden dolls and doll houses, and musical instruments, the wood projects are treasures that kids would love to play with (and help make if they are able to).
Henriques is a fan of kid's hands-on learning advocate Ann Wiseman (as am I). I would love to see his next book include more open ended projects that kids can help build themselves. Overall, this is a really nice book and an asset to any craft library.
*images are from Made by Joel blog